Shannon Blueway Experience

Co. Leitrim, Ireland

Last year my husband Ronan and I stayed in Drumshanbo village, Co. Leitrim for a night and we discovered the Shannon Blueway walking trail from Acres Lake in Drumshanbo to Battlebridge Lock in Letrim village.

This 12km walk begins at the floating boardwalk on Acres Lake, Drumshanbo and takes you onto a gravel walking path along Lough Allen canal, over Drumhauver bridge through Drumleague Lock and finally to Battlebridge Lock near Leitrim village.

We loved the walk so much that we came back again this year for another wander.

Our walk started on a Saturday morning, the weather was cloudy and dry, with little to no rain forecasted. We parked at the marina car park on Acres Lake where there’s also a public toilet beside the outdoor swimming pool.

There are plenty of ducks to be found on Acres Lake and at the beginning of the Canal Walk, and they were very friendly, coming up to us looking for food. Also, some lily pads were floating about on the top of the lake which was lovely to see.

After the first kilometre on the walk, you will cross a road over the pretty stone Drumhauver Bridge, at this point keep to the left-hand side of the canal to continue on the gravel path. The ground is easy going and level underfoot all along this path, but good walking shoes are advised, especially if you plan on taking the grassy path (other side of the canal) on the way back.

Around the 3km point, you will arrive at Drumleague Lock. Here we met a friendly donkey who was out for a morning stroll, his owners were just behind him, but he had to have a wee look to see who was coming along the road.

From here you walk on a small country road, and there are lots of beautiful country fields to admire, however, the trees along this stretch also look spectacular during the Autumn season with their red, brown and golden hues.

After another 3km (6km in total) you will arrive at Battlebridge Lock, which is the perfect place to stop off, and have some packed lunch. There are picnic tables and a public toilet available for use here. It’s a lovely spot to relax and enjoy views of the canal before your return journey.

We took the grassy path on the way back to Acres Lake, which is on the left-hand side of the canal as you’re facing back towards Drumshanbo. You can take the grassy path to Drumhauver Bridge, where you will need to cross over the road, and take the gravel path on the right-hand side of the canal the rest of the way.

The grassy path was more overgrown this year than last and was wet in places, so if you prefer an even underfoot dry path, I’d recommend that you walk back on the same road and gravel path that you took to Battlebride Lock.

We loved our walk on the Shannon Blueway this year and may even go back again before this Autumn is over. It took us three hours in total as we had a packed lunch at Battlebridge Lock. Then our way back home we stopped off at Sweet Geranium Cafe in Drumshanbo village for chai lattes, which was a delicious way to warm up.

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